ERIC Number: EJ988570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-30
Reference Count: N/A
Lessons in Leadership
Cooper, Kenneth J.
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v29 n15 p18-19 Aug 2012
The hazing death of Florida A&M (FAMU) drum major Robert Champion and the long-concealed child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University have prompted an intense focus within higher education on how campus leaders should respond in times of crisis, particularly one involving suspected criminal activity. Experts say college leaders should obey laws on reporting possible crimes, assemble a management plan and a predetermined team for crises, conduct an internal investigation without compromising any criminal probes and privacy laws, "take ownership" of the issue and release as much information as legally allowed. Because of due process protections, those experts advise against automatically firing suspected campus employees or expelling students believed to be at fault. The test for removing a college president or other administrators is whether he or she gathers the relevant information, shares it with the board of trustees and takes decisive action to address the crisis. At Penn State, the cover-up of Sandusky's crimes failed those tests. The author discusses the institutional responses to crisis at Penn State and FAMU which are under intense scrutiny.
Descriptors: Civil Rights, College Presidents, Higher Education, Leaders, Leadership, Child Abuse, Hazing, Fraternities, Sororities, Violence, Antisocial Behavior, Crime, School Security, Zero Tolerance Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Pennsylvania